By Gavin Gibbon
Chris Newman explains why the hospitality giant is reinventing its business model
Chris Newman, chief operating officer at Emaar Hospitality Group has described the impending launch of the company’s Rove La Mer in Dubai as a “game changer” for the industry.
The mid-market beach resort, which is a joint venture with Meraas, will include 360 keys and is scheduled to open in the middle of this year.
Newman told Arabian Business: “This for me is going to be a game changer in the traditional beach resort industry of Dubai because we’re putting in a cool, mid-market, competitively priced property with a good number of rooms in a dynamic area that’s up-and-coming in Dubai.”
Dubai’s hospitality scene is synonymous the world over with luxury, but Newman is looking forward to contributing another dimension to the sector.
Rove Hotels currently has five operational hotels in key locations in Dubai – Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City, Rove Trade Centre and Rove Dubai Marina.
“I think that (Rove) is going to help attract a completely different profile into Dubai and as the numbers continue to grow and it’s so encouraging to see the levels that we’re getting now in terms of tourist arrivals. But if really going to go more for the volume, the volume is going to come from the back of the plane, not necessarily the front,” he said.
“Therefore we need to be putting capacity into the market that deals with the back of the plane as well and that’s where Rove sits so brilliantly.”
Emaar, meanwhile, is best known for its city hotels and just last week opened its fourth Address hotel in the Downtown Dubai area, the iconic Address Sky View.
However, the company is also adding resorts to its burgeoning portfolio, including Rove La Mer and the Address JBR, at the end of Jumeirah Beach Residences, which is also scheduled to open its doors this year.
Newman revealed that the group witnessed occupancy levels of 80 percent in 2019, but with an estimated 53,000 rooms in the UAE hotel construction pipeline, about 30 percent of the market’s existing supply, he admitted that they had to keep coming up with fresh ideas in order to stay competitive.
He said: “You simply can’t operate hotels today and definitely in the next five years, in the same manner they were operated five years ago. There’s a huge change and it’s not a question of tweaking away or cutting here, for me it’s a case of re-inventing the business model, re-inventing what really matters to the guest.
“This (Rove) is a brand that definitely puts the emphasis on a simple yet comfortable stay, simple facilities, but just great location and great service and allowing people to explore Dubai, allowing people to go and spend on the different activities and facilities and recreation entertainment Dubai has to offer.”